Designed by a talented team of young women at the Rose M. Singer Center at Rikers Island, the mural imagines restorative futures for themselves and other women who have been or are incarcerated. To create this mural, entitled “The Freedom Within,” the team of young women artists reflected on their personal experiences during an intensive public artmaking program, presented with the support of the New York City Council through its STARS Citywide Girls Initiative.
“The arts have increasingly grown as a powerful mechanism to share powerful messages inspired by personal struggles and challenges that can empower both the artist and spectator,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo about the mural. “Through public-private partnerships, we can encourage people of all backgrounds to tell their story in the most creative and imaginative way. The Freedom Within is a beautiful mural that will serve as a beacon of hope for the women at the Rose M. Singer Center at Rikers Island. As Chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues and a Member of the Committee on Cultural Affairs in the New York City Council, I look forward to creating similar opportunities that will uplift all women across the City of New York.”
The mural features a young woman in transformation. From the center of the mural, she gazes upward toward her future. Nature imagery surrounds her. Her multi-colored hair turns into rolling hills, her body swirls into whirlpool, and above her a ray of sunshine breaks through the clouds. The woman's hand emerges from the whirlpool, a rose in hand.
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